The clerics who attended the formal unveiling of a former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shetiima, as the running mate to the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have offered proof of their status as ordained clerics and founders of Christian ministries.
They also clarified the widespread misunderstanding that they attended the event as representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Their attendance at the event had sparked media controversy and insinuations of sponsored impersonation.
The Christian community in Nigeria had earlier kicked against the decision of Tinubu to pick a Muslim running mate.
Addressing a press conference Monday in Abuja, the secretary of the clerics’ umbrella body, the Muslim-Christian Love Foundation, Bishop Adams Abel King, who read a statement on behalf of others, said they never portrayed themselves as emissaries of CAN at the event.
Some of the clerics at the press conference
Bishop King also said their identification with Senator Shettima and the APC was informed by his transformation of Borno State, including the protection of rights for all regardless of religion, while he was the governor of the state.
The group said:
“Although Senator Kashim Shettima took the mantle of the state at a difficult time marked by terror attacks and deadly insurgency, his mature, cautious, and decisive management of the state’s affairs helped preserved the social fabric that held several communities together and reassured members of the Christian faith that the government remained committed to their freedoms and wellbeing.”
According to the clerics, these contributions and sincere commitment to the constitutional obligation to uphold the rights of all without prejudice or bias qualify Senator Shettima as a brother and an ally in their quest to promote peaceful inter-faith relations in the country.
They dismissed claims of being sponsored to impersonate leaders of the CAN at the event.
While justifying their authenticity as church leaders, the group made public the names of their respective churches and ministries.
The names disclosed include; the Christian Revival Evangelical Mission Worldwide of Apostle Godwin Livinus; the Divine Prophetic End Time Gospel Faith in Kubwa, Abuja of Bishop Dr Emeka Theodore; the Light House of all Nation Ministry of Bishop Emmanuel Sunday Jayeola, among others.
Condemning the attacks and harassment they endured over their participation at the event, the group said it was their democratic right to make a political choice.